Posted on Mar 14, 2022 135
States that lasted a few days
Not all countries can boast of centuries of history.
The Ostrow Republic (16 days)
November 10-26, 1918.
What Now: Poland.
It emerged at the very end of World War I, when the population of the town of Ostrow rebelled against the German Empire that controlled it.
For two centuries, Ostrow was the center of the Polish independence movement. Therefore, after Germany’s defeat in World War I and the collapse of Russia, the insurgency reached its peak.
Old barracks in Ostrow seized by insurgents during the brief existence of the republic
In just a few days, the locals recaptured the town and organize the local government. But after 16 days, the rebels decided it was too early and that it would be better to wait for a general uprising. So they agreed to share power with the local German soldiers’ committee and voluntarily returned the town to Germany.
A month after that, the Wielkopolska Uprising began in Poznan, and on December 31, 1918, Polish units returned to the city and finally liberated it.
Republic of Kuwait (24 days)
August 4-28, 1990.
What Now: Kuwait.
Demonstration in Kuwait after Iraq invaded the country at the start of the Persian Gulf War, August 4-6, 1990. In the center is Kuwait’s coat of arms, adopted in 1962.
The Republic came into being immediately after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops. The Kuwaiti military staged a coup and on August 4 announced the establishment of the “Provisional Government of Free Kuwait.” It comprised nine officers, led by Alaa Hussein Ali. Already on August 8, the Iraqi authorities declared the merger with Kuwait, and on August 28, it became the 19th province of Iraq. It did not regain its independence until 1991, after the war in the Persian Gulf between Iraqi and U.S. forces.
Republic of Connacht (13 days).
August 27-September 8, 1798.
What Now: Ireland.
Irish Rebellion of 1798: Rebels execute their Protestant prisoners at Wexford on June 20, 1798. The MWS on the rebel flag means “Murder Without Sin.” Copper engraving.
150th anniversary of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in Dublin, 1948.
The state came into being during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. French troops came to the aid of the United Irishmen’s movement in the province of Connacht. On August 27, a combined French-Irish force defeated the British at Castlebar and captured the northern part of Connacht province.
A republic was proclaimed immediately thereafter, and John Moore, the leader of the Irish rebels, became its president. But 13 days later, the British defeated French-Irish forces at Ballinamacca, and the republic fell.
Alsace Soviet Republic (12 days)
November 10-22, 1918.
What Now: France.
The Alsace Soviet Republic emerged shortly after the revolutionary uprising at Kiel in early November 1918, which was the beginning of the November Revolution in Germany. Immediately thereafter, 15,000 sailors from Alsace and Lorraine returned home.
Rally in Strasbourg on November 10, 1918.
On November 10 there was a huge rally which ended with the proclamation of the Workers’ and Soldiers’ council of the city of Strasbourg. The very next day the Strasbourg Council proclaimed independence from Berlin, the establishment of a people’s power and a course for world revolution.
But a week later, on November 17, French troops invaded Alsace, and on November 22 forced the Soviets to resign.
Banat Republic (15 days)
November 1-15, 1918.
What Now: Serbia, Romania, and Hungary.
The Republic of Banat was proclaimed on November 1, 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed. It occupied the territory of the historic Banat region with the capital city of Timisoara.
The entry of the Serbian army into the territory of the Banat region on November 9, 1918.
Within 15 days, the inhabitants of the Republic had time to convene a People’s Council of the different nationalities inhabiting the Republic: Romanians, Germans, Serbs and Hungarians, and to elect Otto Rott as president. But on November 15, the entire territory was occupied by the Serbian army. And two years later, the territory of the republic was divided between Romania and the State of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.
Carpathian Ukraine (1 day)
March 15-16, 1939.
What Now: Ukraine.
The state of Carpathian Ukraine was formed on the site of the autonomous region of Podkarpackie Rus on March 15, 1939, the moment the German occupation of Czechoslovakia began. The government of the autonomy thus wished to secure the support of the Third Reich.
But Germany had other plans. With its consent, Hungarian troops invaded the region the very next day. And after World War II the territory was ceded to the Soviet Union.